Native Plant Sales and Events in Delaware and Chester County

After that surprise spring snowstorm early April, it’s nice to finally hear the familiar hum of lawn mowers, and the most welcome sign of spring, tulips and daffodils dotting the local landscape. And for the serious gardeners, signs for local native plant sales! Plant Sales in Delaware and Chester counties

Every gardener knows that the best plants are the tried and true plants grown in a local garden or carefully selected by educated Master Gardeners. Going to a local plant sale is a great source of information and networking for novice gardeners as well. You’ll meet local gardeners who are happy to share their experience with particular plants .

Garden Geeks by Pam Cloud
This sign says it all!

At a local plant sale, you’ll find the regulars such as lilies and hostas, but you’ll likely also discover a few unusual treasures that are not carried in stores.

At a local plant sale, the salespeople are usually volunteers, and they are passionate about their hobby: gardening. They will know which plants do well in the sun or shade and also which deer resistant plants the deer will eat anyway.

With Earth Day right around the corner, here are a few local gardening events to get your spring planting off to a good start.

 

Media

Tyler Arboretum Benefit Plant Sale is held on the beautiful site of Tyler Arboretum in Media Pa. At Tyler you can stroll through the amazing grounds and see a wide collection of native species thriving in same the environment you would be planting in. Each season brings something new to its rich and diverse plantings, many of which you will see growing on the grounds of the arboretum.

Date: Saturday, May 7th  9am-3pm

Take the kids to see the tree houses and walk through the trails. Admission to the Arboretum is free to everyone for Saturday’s event!

Where: Tyler Arboretum, 515 Painter Road, Media Pa.

Shameless Plug: If you’d like to live close to the Arboretum, I have a listing at 66 Vineyard Lane that is within walking distance to Tyler’s entrance as well as the multi-use trail at Ridley Creek State Park!

66 Viineyard Lane in Media
Stop by for a refreshment, free plant and chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Wedgewood Gardens!

66 Vineyard Lane will be open from 11am-3pm on Friday. Stop by and see how convenient this home is to Tyler Arboretum! Visitors will receive a free plant while supplies last and a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Wedgewood Gardens!

Providence Garden Club Annual Plant Sale . This plant sale has been going on for well over 60 years and is held on the campus of Williamson College of the Trades in Middletown township. Funds raised through this plant sale are donated to various environmental programs in the local community and throughout the region. This year’s plant sale will feature plants that attract pollinators such at butterflies and birds so you can create your own backyard sanctuary.

Date: Friday April 29 (9am-2pm) & Saturday April 30 (8am-1pm)

Where: 106 S. New Middletown Road, Media Pa. (1/2 mile north of the Granite Run Mall)

Last year I spotted this unusual plant at the plant sale. With only two left, I purchased it on the spot!

Providence Garden Club Media Pa.
Disporum Flavens, aka “Mary Bells.”

Aston

Red Hill Farm  is open for a tour and a taste test some of their offerings this season. You can pick up some plants for your vegetable garden too! Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and an assortment of herbs and cut flowers will be available for sale. See you at the farm!

Date: May 7, 1pm-4pm

Where: Red Hill Farm, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston PA

Click here to read my previous post about Red Hill Farm!

West Chester

Friends of Everhart Park Annual Plant Sale to support Everhart Park. This sale has been going on as long as I can remember; I lived across from the park 20 years ago and used to contribute to this sale.  I still have the same Elephant Ears that I purchased way back when for $5. They have created many babies and the original bulb is about the size of a soccer ball! You’ll find lovingly grown plants that have been divided from local residents’ gardens so you know they’ll do well in yours.

Date: Saturday May 7, 10am-2pm

Where: Everhart Park,  park around Brandywine and Miner Streets in downtown West Chester.

The Paula Coyne Plant Sale/ West Chester Garden Club – great selection of native plants, herbs, vegetables. Find your treasure from members’ gardens. Also for sale in the garden boutique–gifts for the gardener, including hand made leaf castings!

Date: Thursday, April 28, 9am-4pm

Where: Landhope Farms  in Kennett Square at the intersection of Rees 82 and 926.

Newtown Square (Willistown Conservation Trust)

Rushton Farm Spring Plant Sale

A model of sustainable agriculture, open space and natural resource protection, this 6 acre farm is nestled within the 86 acre Rushton Preserve in Willistown Township. This farm has never been exposed to pesticides and herbicides. Stock up on organically grown vegetables and flowers, grown right on the Farm.

Date: May 7 & 8, 10am-3pm

Where: Rushton Farm, 911 Delchester Road, Newtown Square

Composting in Glen Mills, Thornbury township

Did you know that almost 2/3 of our landfills are comprised of organic materials such as yard waste, food scraps, paper and wood waste? While throwing all of these materials in the trash, millions of dollars are spent each year on plastic bags filled with “enriched” garden soil.

What if you could kill two birds with one stone by diverting landfill waste and creating your own rich compost at the same time? Your lawn and kitchen scraps are the only ingredients you need to produce your own”black gold!” Learn how it’s done at an upcoming free seminar in Thornbury! Your plants will love you for it!

Free Composting Seminar – sponsored by Thornbury’s Environmental Advisory Council and held at the township building in Thornbury Township. Presented by Sam Barnett of the Master Gardeners and Penn State Extension

Date: Saturday, May 14th from 1pm-2pm

Where: Thornbury Township Building, 6 Township Drive (off of Cheyney Road), Cheyney Pa.

Free Composters to the First Ten People to sign up!!

Thornbury Township
Thornbury Township Municipal Building on Township Drive in Cheyney, Pa.

Pamela Cloud is a Realtor (and avid gardener) with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media Pa. serving the Western Philadelphia suburbs, with expertise in Media, Glen Mills and West Chester.

 

2016 Photo Contest at Ridley Creek State Park is Announced

The Friends of Ridley Creek State will be holding their annual photo contest on Friday, June 24th at 6pm on the grounds of the Mansion at Ridley Creek State Park.

Now in its 12 year, the annual photo contest was started as a fundraiser for projects at the park and to bring awareness to the “Friends,” the non-profit organization that serves to preserve, protect and enhance Ridley Creek State Park.

Hunting Hill Mansion
Hunting Hill Mansion at Ridley Creek State Park

This year the photo contest will take a new twist and be held outside, weather permitting.  As in past years, this event is free and open to the public. Come enjoy refreshments, photo submissions and experience the park through the eyes of the contestants, including children.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, June 17.

Entry forms, contest rules and previous years submissions are available  at www.friendsofrcsp.org.

If you have questions about the photo contest, call the Friends hotline at 484-442-0223.

Photo: Hunting Hill Mansion at Ridley Creek State Park by Pamela Cloud.

Pamela Cloud is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media and has been involved with the Friends of Ridley Creek State Park for over a decade.

 

 

 

Featured post

Williamson College of the Trades: an education that can’t be bought

Williamson College of the Trades has been a constant, yet unpretentious fixture of the Middletown landscape for over a century. If you have not been involved with Williamson, you’ve missed out on what is taking place behind its modest 220 acre campus just off Route 352, south of Route 1. Once you understand what Williamson is about, you’ll never forget it. Further, you will be able to identify the unmistakable traits of a Williamson student and graduate: faith, integrity, diligence, excellence and service. And I’ll add what I observed, respect.

Williamson Cottages
The Williamson “cottages,” also known as dorms, were designed by famous architect Frank Furness.

Given Williamson’s enviable reputation, its students are virtually guaranteed a job upon graduation. Although Williamson is known as the Harvard of Trade Schools, “employers are less interested in the student’s skills as they are their character,” says Mike Rounds, President of the College. In fact, “there are usually more jobs than there are students to fill them,” explains Rounds. It’s a nice problem to have.  And it’s no wonder.  My recent tour of this one-of-a-kind institution left me in awe.

Kevin Williamsn Tour guide
Kevin, our tour guide.

My tour guide for the day was Kevin. He beamed with pride as he described the culture, traditions and work ethic that Williamson expects of its students. We began our tour in the chapel, where students start their day at 6:30am, shoes shined and suits pressed for inspection. Students are expected to wear a suit when on campus, except for when they are in the shop. Most of their time is accounted for from dawn until dusk.  It’s a military-like atmosphere imbued with Christian principles. A demanding schedule for anyone, let alone a college-aged person. I asked Kevin if he liked this lifestyle and his reply was an enthusiastic “yes!” He liked the fact that this training is providing him with discipline and motivation.

The Williamson lifestyle is not for all students. “Of the one hundred students that are accepted each year, 76% will graduate,” according to Arlene Snyder, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. For the students who stay through the entire 3 years, many forge lifelong friendships and build a strength of character that is unmatched. “Other schools have endeavored to emulate Williamson, but Williamson was the first and still is the only school of its kind,” added Snyder.

We toured the library, the cottages (dorms), shops and finished with lunch in the cafeteria. The entire campus is spotless, thanks to the hard work of the student body.  In the masonry shop, the students were working on their senior project, which was a fireplace they designed and built. Once their project is completed and graded, it is disassembled and the materials are recycled for the next class. This was by far the cleanest work area of any kind I have ever seen.

Williamson Masonry Shop
The Mason shop–I would hire a Williamson mason any day of the week!

Students are responsible for the upkeep of all aspects of the campus. Based on the graduates Williamson turns out, it seems as though the formula is working. After graduation, some students start their own companies, while others will start jobs with that they were hired for at the annual job fair.

Art Lallo, Senior Manager in Engineering for V-22 at the Boeing Company, was hired on the spot at such a job fair in 1979. In his senior year in high school, Art was working 40 hour weeks to help support his family. As an avid car enthusiast, going to college wasn’t on his mind until he realized that many of his friends would be leaving for college in the fall.  A friend suggested applying to Williamson.  He did so, and so started his success story. Thirty-seven years later from his first job as a tool design trainee, he advanced his education with a BS in Engineering from Drexel, and an MS in Engineering Management, MBA from Widener and a Doctorate in Higher Education from Widener. In addition to teaching at Widener, Art sits on the Board of Williamson and is the Chairman of its Education Committee.  Lallo speaks enthusiastically about his experience and the opportunity:  “where else can you graduate from college debt free and have a 3:1 job offers?” What’s even better, “the companies that come to Williamson are looking for management candidates because they know Williamson graduates have what it takes to lead,” added Lallo.

As a parent I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t want this type of training for their child.  While taking the tour I was surrounded by gentleman at each turn–not something you encounter every day! Yet a Williamson education can’t be bought–literally or figuratively.  Education in the trades combined with strength of character was the vision of Williamson’s founder, Isaiah Williamson, a successful businessman from suburban Philadelphia and a contemporary of John Wanamaker. As its original name, Williamson Free School of the Mechanical Trades implies, tuition of this three-year school is completely free. That is, every student at Williamson is on a complete scholarship. Wow!

Tuition costs $28K per student per year. The school has an operating budget of about $7 million, according to Snyder, who was hired to lead fundraising efforts at the school. “The school receives no government subsidies, existing solely on its endowment, grants, donations from corporations,alumni and philanthropically motivated individuals. ” added to Snyder.

There are so many things to love about this college on so many levels that this article could take many different directions. From the large open space that is the campus to the collection of historic Frank Furness architecture to the charm and pride of the student body, faculty and administration to the rich traditions honored by its students, Williamson College of the Trades holds a special place in Media’s history and its future.

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 If you would like to learn more, go to  Williamson’s website.

Tours are given regularly by seniors and can be arranged by calling the office of Institutional Advancement at 610-565-1096 or email: advancement@williamson.edu.

Pamela Cloud is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media Pa. serving the Western Philadelphia suburb, with expertise in Media, Glen Mills, West Chester and surrounding areas. Contact Pam for professional real estate guidance!

 

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